It’s always good to have a few recipes where you’re guaranteed a favourable reception when you take the plate to the table. No one wants to bring a dish out after all that effort in the kitchen just to get heart-felt exclamations of Oh not this! or I don’t want to eat it. I want a cheese sandwich or worse still – stoned silence.
Soccer Boy isn’t too keen on eating meat, but will always ask for seconds when I serve bo luc lac. It’s a Vietnamese dish and translates to ‘shaking beef’ – not because the beef’s scared of being eaten, the crazy amount of garlic will make anyone scared of opening their mouths again, or the eaters are scared to actually eat it, but because you’re supposed to shake the wok to sear the sides of the beef.
For some reason, the transition from cold Winter to warm Spring weather always reminds me to make this dish. And the beauty of bo luc lac? The combination of the fish sauce and garlic is an amazingly strong flavour combination, resulting in a very yummy and moreish meal. Yay! We’re having ‘look luck’ for dinner! It’s fresh and light. It’s quick to prepare and cook. Bring it on!
Vietnamese Shaking Beef
- 400g beef sirloin or rump cut into 2cm cubes
- 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ¾ tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Lemon wedges and coriander, to serve
Let’s get shaking!
- Combine all the ingredients (except lemon and coriander) and coat the beef well with the marinade. Let it stand for at least 1/2 an hour, or in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- Preheat a wok over high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil to coat the pan
- When the oil is hot, add the beef in a single layer (there should be a sizzling sound – if there isn’t, take the meat out and wait a little longer). Don’t move the beef around – let it sear for about 1 minute
- Grab the wok by the handle and give it a quick shake to flip the meat to sear the other side for another minute
- Shake the wok again and check to see that the sides of the beef are seared and even a little charred and the meat is medium rare – this should only take another 3 minutes.
- Take the beef out and serve with the lemon wedges, coriander, fresh vegies and rice.
- I always cook 2 kgs of this dish (!) and so prefer to cook on the bbq because I can do a large amount at once on the hotplate, with the heat at super high to get that spectacular char on the meat that I think is an absolute must for this dish.
- My mum sometimes forgoes the rice and just wraps the beef in a piece of lettuce with a squeeze of lemon and coriander. Yummy!